Published by Boldwood Books on October 15, 2020
Source: Net Galley
Also by this author: The Daughter In Law
The perfect life?
...Or the perfect lie?
When Regi moves into her new houseshare, she's ready for a clean slate.
A new home. A new routine. A new identity...
Desperate to escape the shadow of her past that follows her everywhere she goes, Regi finds the ideal distraction in the perfect lives of others on social media.
But as innocent scrolling turns into an unhealthy obsession, Regi will soon learn that seeking perfection comes at a price...
I am not quite sure how I feel about this book and I am finding it hard to write this review. I found the narrator to be perfect for the book, she got the pacing and intensity perfectly. She knew the right moments to add tension with changing the pace of her voice and pitch. She got me riled up, shocked and completely hooked. I will definitely be listening to her narrate again and the fact she has books on my list I can’t wait.
Back to the book, I did find it fascinating. This story of Regi, her crippling OCD and we are in a house with her and 3 other girls when we meet her. She is trying to recover from a shocking incident one that we have no idea about at the start. We just know that she is struggling, she is trying to re-enter a world with people but she has a compulsion. Her OCD is taking over her life and to see someone struggle so much was hard to read. Each of us has a small part of OCD, I have certain things which I have OCD over, and in a way, I could relate to the way Reg felt if she didn’t complete the routine. She felt something bad would happen, the little voice in her head that is quite destructive.
We also have a “Then” section of the book which broke my heart. This story of a woman completely in love but she is abused, not just physically but mentally too. She is being worn down, broken, and she is just a shell of a woman. This was not easy to read.
The entire book was unsettling, it was dark and tense and a page-turner. However, the jigsaw pieces weren’t slotting in to place, and for me, I had to get someone to explain to me their theory on the book and it then made complete sense to me. I did struggle, I found the book clever but in the last 10%, the execution just lacked a little bit of clarity for me. But that is after the event, during the listening for me I was hooked and I wanted to keep listening and listening and listening. I was listening when I was running at 6:30 am instead of my normal morning playlist. I wanted to know why Regi had her compulsions, I wanted to know who this woman was and why was Instagram so pivotal to Regi.
I adored The Daughter-in-Law but unfortunately, The House Mate just didn’t reach the same level as that did. I will read another book by Ms Manning though because I still find her writing so enticing.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: